Explore the epic coastline of Eastern Australia on a journey that takes you from buzzy cosmopolitan Sydney to the glitzy Gold Coast and laid-back Noosa. Cruise to pristine Fraser Island and exquisite Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, and head to tropical Cairns to discover the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef. There are hinterland experiences too – you’ll taste premium wines in the Hunter Valley and tour a remote Rockhampton cattle station.
• Enjoy a delicious winery lunch & wine tasting in the Hunter Valley
• Visit Australia Zoo, home of the Irwin family
• See the cute koalas at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
• Let your hair down with free time in the vacation town of Noosa
• Take an exciting 4WD tour on Fraser Island
• Taste local produce at the Ohana Exotic Fruit Orchard
• Experience life on Langmorn Station, a working cattle property
• Stop at the Sarina Sugar Shed for a guided tour & lunch at a miniature sugar mill
• Stay on Hamilton Island – everyone has a view over the Whitsundays from their balcony
• Cruise to spectacular Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays
• Relax in idyllic Mission Beach
• Stop at Millaa Millaa Falls & the Curtain Fig Tree
• Skirt across the treetops on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
• Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
• Enjoy a Be My Guest BBQ dinner with a local family in their Cairns home
• Included Choice experiences
• Experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide
East Coast Islands & Rainforest Tour
Sydney to Cairns - 10 or 13 Days
Day 1: Sydney – Port Macquarie
Leave Sydney for the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine regions. Enjoy an exclusive wine-tasting and get to know your fellow travelers over lunch at a local winery. Continue north to the seaside town of Port Macquarie.
Day 2: Port Macquarie – Gold Coast
Travel to Cape Byron Lighthouse for superb views over the Pacific Ocean. A scenic coastal drive this afternoon takes you to the vacation destination of the Gold Coast.
Day 3: Gold Coast - Included Choice
Today choose one from a range of Included Choice experiences.
Take the 4WD track through rainforest to Tamborine Mountain, a boat trip to try your hand at ‘pumping yabbies’ or you may wish to be 270 meters up on the SkyPoint Climb.
Day 4: Gold Coast – Noosa
Guest on the 10 day tour join this morning in Brisbane
Head north this morning, stopping in Brisbane for an orientation tour, then continue to Australia Zoo, made famous by the late Steve Irwin and his family. At Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital see how AAT Kings works with its Wildlife Warriors to support koala rehabilitation. Your final destination today is the vibrant resort town of Noosa. Join your fellow travelers for dinner this evening at a restaurant on Hastings Street.
Day 5: Noosa Free Time
Take time to discover Noosa. Swim in the clear waters of Main Beach, or take an easy walk along the headland to Noosa National Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a stand-up paddle board or take a boat ride through the Noosa Everglades. This evening, stroll along famous Hastings Street and dine in one of its many eateries.
Day 6: Noosa – Hervey Bay
Today cross the Great Sandy Strait by ferry to explore the wonders of World Heritage listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. See Lake McKenzie, a freshwater lake ringed with white sandy beaches, and walk through the ancient rainforest at Central Station with its scribbly gum and kauri trees. Enjoy lunch before traveling on to the beachside vacation destination of Hervey Bay.
Day 7: Hervey Bay – Rockhampton
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the Ohana Exotic Fruit Orchard. Later, travel to Langmorn Station, an extensive, fully-operational cattle property. A member of the Creed family, whose forebears built the original homestead in 1873, will lead you on a guided tour of the station. Enjoy morning tea in the garden in the company of the family’s friendly pet kangaroo before traveling on, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn as you arrive in Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia.
Day 8: Rockhampton – Hamilton Island
Travel north to the sugar town of Sarina today for a guided tour of a unique miniature sugar mill and distillery, before you enjoy a light lunch. Travel through Airlie Beach then on to catch the ferry to Hamilton Island. One of 74 tropical islands that make up the Whitsunday group in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island boasts pristine beaches and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life.
Day 9: Hamilton Island
Cruise this morning to spectacular Whitehaven Beach, regarded by many as the best beach in Australia. Wander along its 7 kilometers of pure white sand, or if you’re feeling energetic, take a walk to Hill’s Inlet for views over the Whitsunday islands and the sparkling Great Barrier Reef. The afternoon is yours in this tropical paradise.
Day 10: Hamilton Island – Mission Beach
Take the ferry back to the mainland this morning and continue north along the Bruce Highway, stopping off in Townsville with time for a stroll along the Strand with its views to Magnetic Island. Your next destination is Mission Beach, where your accommodations offers superb views over the Coral Sea.
Day 11: Mission Beach – Cairns
Take some time out this morning to wander along the shores of Mission Beach, before setting out on today’s journey to the high tropical plateau of the Atherton Tablelands, where lush rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and peaceful lakes abound. Visit Millaa Falls and the heritage listed 500-year-old Curtain Fig Tree, and keep an eye out for the magnificent Ulysses butterfly. Spend some time in Kuranda, ‘The Village in the Rainforest’, before traveling on to Cairns via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Day 12: Great Barrier Reef
Board a sleek, high-speed catamaran today and cruise out to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to go snorkeling (equipment provided) to view this natural living wonder first hand, or view the spectacular coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory and semi-submersible craft. Enjoy a delicious tropical buffet lunch on board before you return to Cairns in the late afternoon. This evening join a local family in their home for a leisurely Be My Guest Aussie barbecue. Spend an evening learning about life in the tropics.
Day 13: Farewell from Cairns
Say farewell to your fellow travelers when your vacation comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
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